The staff of the Thrive Center for Birth & Wellness believes that families and health care providers need to work together to provide for safe, high quality care during pregnancy and birth, with each party having certain rights and responsibilities.
It is the right of every client to expect and receive:
- High quality care and high professional standards, which are continually maintained and reviewed.
- Respectful and dignified treatment at all times.
- Treatment without discrimination based on race, religion, sexual preference, gender identification, national origin, or source of payment.
- Full information, prior to the administration of any drug or procedure, regarding any potential direct or indirect effects, risks or hazards to herself or her unborn or newborn infant, which may result from the use of that drug or procedure.
- Information, prior to the proposed therapy, of known alternative therapy or of the potential effects of delaying or avoiding a particular therapy.
- Information regarding clinical areas of uncertainty.
- Determination for herself, without pressure from her attendant, as to whether she will accept the risks inherent in a proposed therapy or refuse a therapy.
- Information regarding the name, qualifications and scope of practice of all of her care providers.
- The availability of a midwife on a 24-hour per day, 7-day per week basis.
- Opportunity to be accompanied during prenatal care, labor and birth by significant others of her choosing to provide support.
- Emergency procedures to be implemented without unnecessary delay.
- Care of her baby in her presence and a full explanation of any procedures including purpose, risks and any alternatives.
- Assurance of complete, accurate, and legible health records.
- Assurance that all information regarding her care shall remain confidential.
- Control over the release of information from her health records.
- Assurance that her health records will be retained until the child reaches at least the age of majority, or to have the records offered to her before they are destroyed.
- Full access to her complete health record.
- Information regarding her and her baby’s continuing health care needs following discharge, and the means for meeting these needs.
- Information regarding cost of care and, if needed, counseling on the availability of financial resources.
In addition to understanding her rights, the client should also understand that she, too, has responsibilities. The client is responsible for:
- Learning what constitutes good maternity care and for making an effort to obtain the best care possible.
- Providing complete and accurate information regarding health history and life style to her care providers.
- Discussing the birth setting and assuring that both partners are in agreement as to the chosen setting.
- Learning about the physical and psychological process of labor, birth, and recovery, through reading, discussion with staff, and attendance at childbirth preparation classes.
- Arranging for a support person who will share in her plans and accompany her during labor and birth.
- Making her preferences known clearly to the health professionals involved in her care in a courteous and cooperative manner.
- Listening to her chosen care providers with an open mind, just as she expects the care provider to listen to her openly.
- Obtaining information in advance regarding the approximate cost of maternity care, and then meeting this financial commitment.
- Behaving towards those caring for them with the same respect and consideration they themselves would like.
- Learning about the mother’s and baby’s continuing care needs after discharge though reading and attending classes. This includes arranging for an appropriate infant care provider and for help with housework and childcare in the postpartum period.
- Putting into writing constructive comments and feelings of satisfaction and/or dissatisfaction with the care received. Those who take the time and responsibility to express their feelings about the care they received will facilitate good services to families in the future.